Tagged "Nintendo"

e3pressconf2014
Jun 09
By Adam Philbin In Blog No Comments

It’s that time of year again. As most of you know, somewhere in America the annual gaming expo known as E3 (pronounced “eeeeeeeh!”) is happening. Specifically in Los Angeles from June 10-12th, but what does that mean for us British folk?

The big publishers are all holding press conferences to showcase their new titles today and tomorrow. We’ll report on the aftermath of each conference, but if you want to know where and when to watch each one (in sensible UK time), just look right here.

Who? When? Where?
Microsoft Monday June 9th at 5.30pm GMT Watch it here
EA Monday June 9th at 8pm GMT Watch it here
Ubisoft Monday June 9th at 11pm GMT Watch it here
Sony Tuesday June 10th at 2am GMT (Monday night) Watch it here
Nintendo Tuesday June 10th at 5pm GMT Watch it here

As usual, we won’t be there, but we probably will be sat at our computers, watching the live press conference streams, bitching about it on Twitter and writing up our thoughts here. Exciting!

MarioKart81
Jun 06
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

By their nature, racing games are perfect system showcases. The rivalry between Saturn and PlayStation launch titles Daytona USA and Ridge Racer in particular had the ‘90s gaming press frothing with excitement. Even before that Nintendo’s F-Zero impressed just about everyone who laid eyes on it. Hot on the heels of F-Zero came the legendary Super Mario Kart – a game that made anything on the Mega Drive look positively bland in comparison.

Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart 7 showed that the respective handhelds were no slouch when it came to throwing around polygons, while Mario Kart Wii proved that the console was more than just a GameCube in a slimmer case.

This brings us nicely onto Mario Kart 8. To say it looks sensational would be an understatement. A genuine treat for the eyes, there’s no way somebody could say the Wii U is underpowered after catching even the slightest glimpse of it in motion. Colourful and vibrant throughout, the frame rate doesn’t falter even with twelve beautifully animated characters on the track at once. The MKTV replays look better still, removing the on-screen clutter while adding a subtle filter.

MarioKart82

Rather than refine the series or take it back to basics, Mario Kart 8 builds upon its 3DS predecessor with a few notable tweaks here and there. That means the hang gliding and underwater sections are back for a second time, whilst the track selection is a mixture of new and old. Love them or hate them, bikes make a return as well. Cornering while on two wheels is trickier than before, but the pay-off is made slightly more rewarding because of it.

The majority of karts and bikes are locked to begin with, becoming available once enough coins have been collected. Half the characters are locked at the start too, including all six of the Koopa siblings and a few surprise faces. New vehicle parts unlock at such a steady rate that almost every victory earns something new, even if it is just a glider with a different motif.

Innovation comes not just from the aforementioned MKTV replays – which can be edited and shared online – but also from new anti-gravity strips that send Mario and chums upside down and vertically along walls. Handling becomes slightly slippery, allowing for some big power-slides… which of course provide those all-important speed boosts. Even the revamped retro tracks have been freshened up with an anti-grav strip or two, along with the occasional underwater section.

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Toy Fair 2014
Jan 24
By Jake In The Week In Pictures 1 Comment

It was Toy Fair 2014 at London’s Kensington Olympia this week. Video games didn’t exactly feature prominently, but Sonic was there.

Peter Shilton, Toy Fair 2014

You can see him above, loitering in the background of a photo of event manager Simon Pilling. Sega weren’t exhibiting, so it’s hard to say exactly what Sonic was up to. Apart from loitering.

But importantly, Sonic’s presence is pretence enough to bring you this slightly uncomfortable photo of Peter Shilton from the show.

From play to academia, and the Epic Games Centre launched at Staffordshire University this week. That’s not a case of academia trying to be all hip and young; it’s a collaboration with developer Epic Games. Here’s their European Territory Manager Mike Gamble standing in the centre.

Epic Games Centre, Staffordshire University

Looks nice enough, doesn’t it?

It’s not exactly a local tie up. With headquarters in North Carolina, and additional studios in Washington, Utah, Poland, Korea and Japan, it’s not going to be very convenient for the “key personnel” involved from Epic. Even the UK arm, which handles licensing services for Europe, is based in East Sussex. There are going to be some hefty expense claims.

Derby University

Just down the A50, Derby University also blew the trumpet of its game-related degree courses, as its graduation ceremonies took place.

The chap in the photo is Peter Innes, who completed the BSc Computer Games Programming last year with a 2:1, and is now working for Microsoft in the fancy USA, but flew back for graduation. And to stand in front of a lorry with a cracking billboard on and have his photo taken.

It’s also worth noting that the Programme Leader for that particular course is the improbably named Dr Tommy Thompson.

BBC News - Nintendo

And finally to Nintendo, who have been in the actual news with their loss warning and resulting share price drop.

BBC News wins the award for best accompanying photo, with this effort of a slightly sad looking man near a Wii U.

It’s the standard to which we all aspire.

Nintendo Game Watch
Jun 04
By Jake In Retro No Comments

The tech press is getting in a right froth over smart watches. Honestly, don’t they remember the Game Watch?

The calculator watch had been around since the 1970s, and a decade later the next step was the game watch. US company Nelsonic Industries was at the forefront of this exciting technological frontier.

The games were basic, and they typically couldn’t be played on your wrist – but they were often licensed, which was clearly the selling point. Nintendo were remarkably keen to pimp out their properties, and in 1992 three of them made it over to Europe through Zeon.

As Super Play put it at the time:

Of the three, Tetris is probably your best bet. This is probably the most addictive puzzle game ever, and one which adapts to on-wrist technology quite neatly. This version has been cut down a little from the original – the screen is only six blocks wide – but it plays just as well.

Inevitably, Tetris was the one that I didn’t buy. Like all 11-year-olds, I was an idiot.

So let’s have a look at the Super Mario Bros. 3 and Legend of Zelda tat I probably wasted a perfectly good Christmas present on.

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Rollcage tyre
Mar 22
By Jake In Retro No Comments

Everyone loves something for nothing, so when some freeness is offered as a bonus for pre-ordering, or dished out at a games show, you’re not going to turn it down, are you? But you’re also not going to use it, are you? Let’s see what tat’s been languishing in a box in the attic for the last decade or two.

Yoshi’s Island soundtrack CD

Yoshi's Island OST

Ah, the soundtrack CD, a classic freebie – and still a common sight, even in these digital days. Sounds like a nice idea, but there aren’t many games that have music you’d want to listen to alone – mainly because that’s not what it’s for.

Yoshi’s Island is a case in point. It’s an incredibly (others might say insufferably) cute game, and the music is no different. The title, Love, Peace & Happiness, doesn’t exactly try to hide it.

The joy is almost deafening, and you’d struggle not to raise a smile when it first hits you. It’s another matter after that same tune has been recycled repeatedly in slightly varying musical styles. It must be tiring to be that happy all the time – it certainly is listening to it.

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iGame-Move
Jan 22
By Matt Gander In Features No Comments

There’s a Hong Kong-based online retailer where, hidden away from the official console bundles and realms of third party peripherals, there’s a peculiar section titled “Other videogame consoles”. Here you’ll find a variety of dubious looking handhelds of all shapes and sizes, pre-loaded with hacks of NES games and more.

We don’t condone piracy here at Games Asylum – hence the lack of a link to the website in question – but the consoles found here are so brilliantly bizarre that we couldn’t resist taking a thorough look. Most of these devices don’t even have proper names, let alone adequate descriptions, so we’ve taken the liberty with some of them.

If curiosity gets the better of you, it shouldn’t be hard to spot the website’s name from the watermarks.

Angry Birds ZH-398

AngryBirdsHandheld

Costing less than £10, we very much doubt that the “Angry Birds ZH-398” has a particularly high build quality. Well known games such as Zumba, Plants vs Zombies, Pac-Man and “Anger Birds” are shown on the main menu. It’s existence is sure to anger Rovio, that’s for sure.

It’s impossible to tell if the 32 games it contains are genuine or bootleg clones, but we assume the latter.

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Oct 26
By Jake In Features No Comments

I was thinking about handheld screens recently – don’t ask – and a question occurred to me: when did everyone decide that, yes, widescreen definitely is the answer?

There’s only one way to answer that question: a scatter graph of screen width by year. WITH A TREND LINE.

Handheld Aspect Ratios

Look at that: what a trend line! Thanks to him, the gradual shift from nearly square screens (1:1) to widescreen (1.78:1 being the standard 16:9 widescreen TV aspect ratio) is clear to see. What a hero.

In fact, there was a square screen, on the not particularly legendary early ’90s Supervision – Quickshot or Watara, depending on your persuasion. The Game Boy and Game Gear were barely more rectangular, mind, at 1.11:1.

Around the same time, the Atari Lynx was being much more ambitious. The 1.57:1 aspect ratio nicely illustrates that: there’s nothing closer to widescreen on our graph until Sony with the PSP, 15 years later.

Around 2000, the next generation of handhelds started to move to slightly wider screens. Nintendo were strange ones around this time, the DS retreating back to 1.33:1 from the Game Boy Advance’s 1.5:1. They got back in line with the 3DS though, and a more respectable 1.67:1.

In fact, over the last few years it’s the iPhone 4 which looks most anachronistic, matching the Game Boy Advance’s aspect ratio of 1.5:1. Again, Apple got back in line though, with 1.78:1 – which looks close to an industry standard now – for the iPhone 5.

Analysis over. Source data follows, if that’s your thing.

(more…)

Jun 14
By Jake In Blog 2 Comments

The web made a step towards being a whole lot bigger yesterday, when ICANN revealed the full list of potential new generic top-level domains – because .com is terribly 1985.

Sony have gone for .playstation, .xperia and .sony. Microsoft are after a handful, including .microsoft, .xbox and .live – giving them the option of both xbox.live and live.xbox. Another Microsoft application is for .bing, which opens up the delightful possibility of badda.bing.

It’s presumably all a bit too online for Nintendo, so there’s no .wii or .virtualboy on the cards. But they’re in good company – Twitter, Facebook and eBay were among the other companies conspicuous by their absense.

At the other end of the scale, Google and Amazon have gone after 101 and 76 new gTLDs respectively. They’re both among the five companies interested in .game, but Google is one of only two parties interested in .dot – and I would have thought that dot.dot alone would hold more allure than that. But with just the application process costing $185,000, that’s a lot to pay for basically one novelty domain name.

The only other games company that jumps out of the list is Konami, but they’re only after .konami, which isn’t terribly interesting. Nothing from the likes of EA and Activision, for example.

There are some oddities in the list – which is worth a look if you’ve got half an hour to scan the 1,930 applications – but also some inspired choices. Who wouldn’t want a .ninja domain? Or what about .ooo – gamesasylum.ooo has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

No sign of .cotton though, sadly.

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